Growing up, we helped my mom in the kitchen a lot. We’d make banana bread, cookies, and, of course, rice crispy squares. They’re an iconic childhood treat.
Unfortunately, the classic recipe of Rice Krispies cereal and marshmallows is quite unhealthy, especially for children. While the cereal itself is not a healthy choice (hello sugar and GMO corn), the marshmallows are full of harmful ingredients.
Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Ingredients: corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, modified corn starch, water, gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (whipping aid), artificial flavours, and artificial colours (blue 1).
The first three ingredients in marshmallows are sugars.
One regular marshmallow has 4 grams of sugar, which is equal to about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Four marshmallows, which is considered a serving, equals out to 16 grams of sugar or 4 teaspoons of sugar.
We know sugar in the diet is a leading cause of obesity, but it also:
Yet, we’re sending kids off to school with a lunch bag full of hidden sugars.
The remaining food additives are just as bad for you. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated their concern surrounding the numerous studies linking food additives to:
Please…please, don’t opt for the pre-packaged Rice Krispies treats.
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treat Ingredients: cereal (rice, sugar, salt, corn and barley malt extract, monoglycerides, vitamins [niacinamide, folic acid], iron, colour), marshmallow (corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, natural and artificial flavour), fructose, soybean and palm oil shortening, corn syrup solids, glycerin, dextrose, salt, natural and artificial flavour (contains milk), acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides, acetylated monoglycerides, BHT.
Aside from the already mentioned sugar, corn, and food additives, the treats also contain refined oils and the preservative BHT. A 2002 study, showed that exposure to high doses of BHT is toxic in mice and rats, causing liver, thyroid and kidney problems and affecting lung function and blood coagulation.
Making a healthy rice crispy square is actually quite simple and super yummy. The hemp hearts and nut butter in this recipe give the rice crispy squares a good boost of protein and source of healthy fats.
It’s a perfect treat to send to school, as the essential fatty acids found on the hemp hearts will help support healthy brain function. To make it a school-safe snack, you can easily swap out the nut butter for a seed butter, like sunflower or tahini.
If you’re looking for more healthy snack and lunch tips for your kids, check out these blogs:
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, @katiestewartwellness, so I can see your creation!
15 minPrep Time
15 minTotal Time